Family and friends gathered in North Balwyn recently to pay their respects to well-known Boolarra identity, Shirley Holmes. Shirley and her husband George Holmes moved from the Holmes’ family hardware shop at Kew Junction in 1966 to run ‘Laughing Waters’, a large dairy farm on the Limonite Road. Shirley was well prepared for such a life change, having been born and brought up on a dairy farm in Echuca in 1922. She had a tremendous capacity for work, finding the time and energy to join many community groups such as Red Cross, Girl Guides, Mothers’ Club at the Boolarra Primary School, the Pony Club at Boolarra and Berry’s Creek, Friends of the Morwell Art Gallery, Community Aid Abroad, the Boolarra Historical Society and others.
George Holmes died, sadly, in 1980 and Shirley continued farming with her son, Keith, until she retired to Morwell a few years ago. A great traveller, Shirley made many trips overseas to Europe, Russia, America, Canada and China. Her great love and pride though was her family – Susan, who died tragically in a car accident, Keith, Mary and Richard and their children. Her friends in Boolarra and the Latrobe Valley will miss her.